Students attend National March for Life in Ottawa

Youth “stand on guard for life”

By Kevin Geenen
Cardinal Newman Student

Approximately 120 students from across the Hamilton Wentworth Catholic District School Board were in Ottawa on May 11 and 12 for the 20th Annual March for Life, an event which is organized in order to “promote the value of all human life from conception until natural death.”

Students and staff joined together in solidarity with thousands of other pro-lifers, standing on Parliament Hill in silent witness to the cause and then marching through the streets of Ottawa on a pre-planned route. Organizers along the route counted that approximately 15,000 people were in attendance.

While on The Hill, messages of hope were shared by pro-life Members of Parliament and prominent religious figures. Pierre Lemieux and Brad Trost, who are in the Conservative Party leadership race, addressed the crowd while Andrew Sheer, another candidate, sent his regards. Also speaking was Cardinal Tom Collins, Archbishop of Toronto.

The event continued as students attended the March for Life Youth Banquet later that evening at the Ottawa Conference and Event Centre where Steve Karlen was the keynote speaker.

Karlen is the North American Director for 40 Days for Life, “an international pro-life campaign that has saved thousands of lives, and closed down hundreds of abortion facilities through prayer, fasting, and community outreach.”

Karlen reiterated that Canada is in league with China, Russia, and North Korea in terms of its abortion laws. A woman in these countries can choose to have an abortion at any time during pregnancy “for whatever reason or for absolutely no reason at all,” he said.

He added, “When we find ourselves on the same human rights list as China and North Korea, something has gone drastically wrong.”

Karlen’s talk was followed up with a performance by Transform DJs, a pro-life Electronic Dance Music group based in Denver, Colorado that is dedicated to, “sharing the Gospel, defending the pre-born people, and leading God’s people into worship.”

Jonathan Burgess, a member of the Transform DJs, said he wants to “inspire a generation to join a movement to abolish abortion and be a voice for the voiceless.”

The group’s lyrics echo the message: “Fight for the speechless, defend the weakest.”

Burgess said, “We want to be the generation that says no, we are just going to end [abortion] completely. We are not going to regulate it; we are just going to right out abolish it.”

He applauded the youth that came out for the March, but encouraged them to go further.

“My prayer is that people will take it from today and do something every day,” he said.

The Transform DJs can be followed on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @transformdjs.






Students pose on Parliament Hill with their “I’m pro-life” happy face signs in front of their faces. Photo by Kevin Geenen.
Students pose on Parliament Hill with their “I’m pro-life” happy face signs in front of their faces. Photo by Kevin Geenen.

Tim Heil of the Transform DJs. Photo by Kevin Geenen.
Tim Heil of the Transform DJs. Photo by Kevin Geenen.

Tim Heil of the Transform DJs plays the drums during their performance. Photo by Kevin Geenen.
Tim Heil of the Transform DJs plays the drums during their performance. Photo by Kevin Geenen.

The March begins: pro-lifers make their way down the streets of Ottawa. Photo by Kevin Geenen.
The March begins: pro-lifers make their way down the streets of Ottawa. Photo by Kevin Geenen.

Taylor Franklyn sings into the microphone. Photo by Kevin Geenen.
Taylor Franklyn sings into the microphone. Photo by Kevin Geenen.

Pro-lifers stand by the Confederation Flame in silent witness to the pro-life movement. Photo by Kevin Geenen.
Pro-lifers stand by the Confederation Flame in silent witness to the pro-life movement. Photo by Kevin Geenen.

Lorna Heil of the Transform DJs stands in front of the screen with a piece of duct tape reading “LIFE” taped across her mouth. Photo by Kevin Geenen.
Lorna Heil of the Transform DJs stands in front of the screen with a piece of duct tape reading “LIFE” taped across her mouth. Photo by Kevin Geenen.

Jonathan Burgress reads from Jeremiah 1:5 in the Bible. “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” Photo by Kevin Geenen.
Jonathan Burgress reads from Jeremiah 1:5 in the Bible. “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” Photo by Kevin Geenen.

Jonathan Burgess raises his arms to God in worship during the Transform DJs performance at the March for Life Youth Banquet. Photo by Kevin Geenen.
Jonathan Burgess raises his arms to God in worship during the Transform DJs performance at the March for Life Youth Banquet. Photo by Kevin Geenen.

Jonathan Burgess of the Transform DJs sings passionately at the March for Life Youth Banquet. He wears a necklace in the shape of Africa in tribute to his South African heritage. Photo by Kevin Geenen.
Jonathan Burgess of the Transform DJs sings passionately at the March for Life Youth Banquet. He wears a necklace in the shape of Africa in tribute to his South African heritage. Photo by Kevin Geenen.

From left: Tim Heil, Jonathan Burgess, and Taylor Franklyn during their performance. They use Electronic Dance Music in order to bring people to a relationship with Jesus. Photo by Kevin Geenen.
From left: Tim Heil, Jonathan Burgess, and Taylor Franklyn during their performance. They use Electronic Dance Music in order to bring people to a relationship with Jesus. Photo by Kevin Geenen.

Cardinal Newman students pose with their pro-life signs in front of the Parliament building. Photo by Kevin Geenen.
Cardinal Newman students pose with their pro-life signs in front of the Parliament building. Photo by Kevin Geenen.

Cardinal Newman students and staff pose in front of the Parliament building at the 20th annual March for Life in Ottawa. Photo by Kevin Geenen.
Cardinal Newman students and staff pose in front of the Parliament building at the 20th annual March for Life in Ottawa. Photo by Kevin Geenen.